Episode 181: Change it with the BOSSAnova with Jutta Eckstein

Craig and Tony are at YOW! conference in Brisbane and chat with Jutta Eckstein, author of “Agile Software Development in the Large“, “Agile Software Development with Distributed Teams“, “Retrospectives for Organisational Change” “Diving for Hidden Treasures: Uncovering the Cost of Delay in Your Project Portfolio” with Johanna Rothman and “Company-wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Space & Sociocracy: Survive & Thrive on Disruption” with John Buck

  • Smalltalk and pattern languages was where a lot of the early work and a lot of the early players converged
  • Scrum had great marketing and certification over Extreme Programming
  • Agile Software Development in the Large came out in 2004 and was probably way before its time
  • Craig Larman and Bas Vodde book “Scaling Lean & Agile Development
  • IBM book “A Practical Guide to Distributed Scrum
  • A framework is not really necessary, stick with the Agile values and principles regardless of your context
  • Heart of Agile (and Tony’s rant on scaling)
  • 40 Agile Methods in 40 Minutes
  • Retrospectives are great for any sort of change, not just software
  • There is no way of becoming Agile as a company without the CFO on board and moving from yearly budgeting – beyond budgeting assists from both the money side and the strategic side
  • Sociocracy looks at the organisation from the structure side – we need to build structures that allow us to make decisions more quickly through double linking and built in feedback loops
  • Open Space techniques are essential for facilitation and product liftoff and about using the passion of the people for innovation of your products
  • If you trust people maybe its cheaper than checking procedures
  • Need some background, come up with a hypothesis, design some experiments and measure
  • Experiments need to be safe to fail – either if the hypothesis is not true or the outcome is not valuable
  • Not “safe to fail” but “failing safely” or “safe to learn”
  • Publish your experiments so people can learn from each other (even if only internally)
  • agilebossanova.com – collecting stories
  • Agile Alliance Speaker Reimbursement initiative – support for Agile meetups and conferences to bring in external speakers and go towards cover travel reimbursements

TheAgileRevolution-181 (41 minutes)

Episode 157: Transforming the UK Government Digital Service with James Stewart

Craig is at YOW! West in Perth and has a conversation with James Stewart, formerly Deputy CTO for the UK Government and co-founder of the Government Digital Service. In varying locations they talk about:

  • YOW! West keynote “Lessons Learned as a Government CTO
  • UK government had some large IT failures  in the last like the NHS National Program for IT (12 billion pound failure), but now lots of successes like Spine 2
  • Agile techniques have been successful in the UK government not just because other approaches have failed so badly but the cost of an IT project is only a fraction of the overall cost of a system
  • The Government Design Principles – start with user needs – successful projects start with clearly articulated principles, did not realise how much they would resonate
  • Worked around a number of government process early on, support from the Minister and investing time to find allies was essential
  • Design Principle posters – essential to invest in presentation, help people feel involved
  • Were never dogmatic about flavours of Agile, this presented challenges with vendors – can you make changes quickly, can you ship software faster, have you thought about quality?
  • The problem is not scaling frameworks, it’s that you tried to start big – need to start with a small team and seed the trust
  • Tackled the financials with the spending control process and an Agile business case (based around progressive funding) and align spending around Discovery, Alpha, Beta and Live stages and approval for later stages comes from what you have learnt from the previous stage
  • Genuine leadership requires openness – be self reflective, clearly articulate values and principles, the biggest risks you are concerned about and the outcomes you wish to achieve – then build trust with the team to achieve this
  • The strategy is delivery
  • Don’t start until somebody can express an outcome – once they do, turn something around quickly
  • Digital By Default Service Manual – good place to start, how to do delivery
  • UK Government Technology Code of Practice – underpinning of spending controls

TheAgileRevolution-157 (43 minutes)